Former employee arrested after reportedly robbing downtown Juneau business at knifepoint

A former employee of a downtown store was arrested Tuesday night after reportedly stealing a bank deposit bag with thousands in cash at knifepoint.

Juneau Police Department officers responded to a 911 call from an employee of Taku Harley-Davidson in the 200 block of South Franklin Street at about 7:23 p.m., Lt. David Campbell said.

The female employee, who is not being identified, reported that Eric Rivera, 23, came into the store and demanded she give him all the money, pulling a knife and threatening to hurt her, according to the criminal complaint.

JPD Officer Kevin Fermin wrote in his report that Rivera reportedly told the employee, “If you call the police, I will come back to the store and hurt your mom, you and the other employees.”

According to Fermin’s report, Rivera had been fired from the Harley-Davidson store Monday and was told to return Tuesday to pick up his time stub. Rivera came by after hours and knocked on the door; the employee let him in and he followed her to the back office, where she had been counting up the day’s sales to add to the week’s bank deposit.

The employee told Fermin that Rivera then displayed a Harley-Davidson knife that he had recently purchased from the store and said, “I am sorry, I need the money.” She reportedly put the day’s sales into the bag and gave it to him; he left on foot with the cash, totaling approximately $5,000.

Rivera was subsequently located about 30 minutes later on the sidewalk in the 200 block of Front Street and was detained. A search reportedly revealed a Harley-Davidson folding knife in his front pocket. Rivera told officers he had been fired from the store and he had gone there to pick up his pay stub, but denied pulling a knife or taking the cash.

The missing money was not found on Rivera, Campbell said. He was arrested and charged with first-degree robbery and third-degree assault and was booked into Lemon Creek Correctional Center with no bail.

Rivera appeared in Juneau District Court Wednesday afternoon and a public defender was appointed. Judge Kirsten Swanson noted that the robbery charge was a Class A felony with a three-year mandatory minimum sentence, up to 20 years, while the assault charge could net him up to five years.

Assistant District Attorney Angie Kemp asked for a $20,000 cash performance bail, telling Swanson that Rivera has a prior assault conviction out of Anchorage as well as 10 local misdemeanor convictions since 2011. She added that she was contemplating adding a third charge of second-degree theft.

Rivera also faces a new misdemeanor case charging him with criminal trespass and is facing petitions to revoke probation as well. Swanson set bail at $20,000 and Rivera is scheduled to return to court June 7.


• Contact reporter Liz Kellar at 523-2246 or liz.kellar@juneauempire.com.


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